Update on UC’s Open Access Negotiations with Elsevier and Other Publishers

With winter quarter underway, we’d like to share the status of the University of California’s (UC) negotiations with Elsevier, which stalled in February 2019, and inform you of the progress made on several other fronts as UC works to advance open access.

UC and Elsevier 

After formal negotiations stalled last year, UC and Elsevier have remained in informal conversations and are looking forward to continuing that dialogue. The parties are planning to hold a meeting to explore reopening negotiations within the first quarter of 2020. 

Over the past year, Elsevier has signed other transformative agreements, and we are hopeful that this suggests that the publisher is ready to discuss deals that align with UC’s goals.

Wiley and Springer Nature

UC is in cordial negotiations with Wiley and Springer Nature to renew contracts that expired on December 31, 2019. In each case, UC and the publisher have a shared desire to reach a transformative agreement that combines UC’s subscription with open access publishing of UC research. Both publishers have extended UC’s access to their journals, under the terms of their prior contracts, while negotiations are underway.

New Agreements: Association for Computing Machinery, Journal of Medical Internet Research, and Public Library of Science

UC has announced three new publisher agreements, each with models that provide financial support for UC researchers who choose to publish their work open access.

  • UC was one of four major research institutions to enter into an open access publishing agreement with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Under the three-year agreement with this society publisher, the UC Libraries will pay to retain access to ACM’s journals and other publications, and to ensure that UC researchers’ articles will be made openly available at the time of publication at no cost to the authors.
  • As part of a new two-year pilot with the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Publications — a native open access publisher of more than 30 digital health-related journals including its flagship Journal of Medical Internet Research — the UC Libraries will pay the first $1,000 of the open access publishing fee for all UC authors who choose to publish in a JMIR journal. Authors who do not have research funds available can request financial assistance from the libraries for the remainder of the costs, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish in JMIR journals.
  • Under the two-year agreement with the Public Library of Science (PLOS)—one of the world’s leading native open access publishers—which the partners are working to implement this spring, the UC Libraries will automatically pay the first $1,000 of the article processing charge (APC) for all UC authors who choose to publish in a PLOS journal. Authors who do not have research funds available can request full funding of the APC from the libraries, ensuring that lack of research funds does not present a barrier for UC authors who wish to publish in PLOS journals
    • Update: This pilot agreement went into effect on April 1, 2020 and will run until March 31, 2022. All manuscripts submitted for publication in a PLOS journal during this period with a corresponding author from any of the ten UC campuses, UCOP, or Lawrence Berkeley National Lab are eligible for funding assistance from the UC Libraries. For more information, visit PLOS frequently asked questions.

Each agreement expands UC’s portfolio of options for its authors who wish to make their research open access. As UC’s first such agreements with a society publisher as well as two native open access publishers, respectively, the three new pilots exemplify the university’s commitment to finding ways to work with publishers of all types and sizes to advance open access to UC research. 

Cambridge University Press: Agreement now fully implemented

After an initial kickoff phase in 2019, UC’s first transformative open access agreement, with Cambridge University Press, is now fully in effect. Starting this month, when UC corresponding authors submit their accepted manuscript for publication with Cambridge, they will be prompted to consider making their article open access. The open access fee will be discounted by 30%, and the UC Libraries’ $1,000 subsidy will be applied automatically. Authors who have research funding available will be asked to use those funds to pay any remaining amount, under a cost-sharing model designed to enable the UC Libraries to stretch their available funds and help as many authors as possible. As with UC’s agreement with JMIR, if an author does not have research funds available to pay the remainder of the open access publishing fee, they can request that the libraries pay their portion, as well. Learn more about the agreement and what it means for you if you publish with Cambridge.

More to Come

Conversations with other publishers are also in the pipeline, and we will keep you apprised when there are major developments or new agreements to share.

If you have questions about any of these open access publishing agreements or negotiations, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us: Ask A Librarian.

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